A Linear History: UFC Middleweight Championship

By Mike Fridley and Brian Knapp Jul 8, 2012
Only five men have held the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight crown since it was brought into existence more than a decade ago.

Dave Menne was the first to wear the title, having defeated Gil Castillo by unanimous decision at UFC 33 on Sept. 28, 2001 in Las Vegas. Murilo Bustamante, Evan Tanner and Rich Franklin followed in his footsteps, as the championship changed hands three times in the next five years. Then, on Oct. 14, 2006, a certain Brazilian introduced the words “Thai plum” to the mainstream lexicon and put an historic stranglehold on the division.

Anderson Silva has successfully defended the middleweight belt a record 10 times since he took it from Franklin at UFC 64. His reign has now surpassed the 2,000-day mark, unheard of in a sport where champions come and go with shocking regularity. Since Silva captured the 185-pound title, there have been at least two different champions in each of the four other traditional UFC weight classes: welterweight (2), lightweight (3), heavyweight (5) and light heavyweight (6).

Sherdog.com has compiled an infographic which chronicles the journey of the middleweight championship, beginning with Menne in 2001 and running through Silva, the current titleholder.

Click on the champions or challengers below to learn more about each fighter's history.

Anderson Silva Yushin Okami Vitor Belfort Chael Sonnen Demian Maia Thales Leites Patrick Cote Dan Henderson Rich Franklin Nate Marquardt Anderson Silva Rich Franklin David Loiseau Nate Quarry Rich Franklin Evan Tanner Evan Tanner Rich Franklin Evan Tanner David Terrell Murilo Bustamante Murilo Bustamante Dave Menne Dave Menne Matt Lindland Dave Menne Gil Castillo

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